We’re taking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life this week and heading out to experience some of the scenic views around Houston – via kayak! Kayaking is a great hobby if you’re looking to relax or even to step outside of your usual workout regime. There’s a little something for everyone on the water.

At Village Creek Paddling Trail in Beaumont, you can experience 21 miles of free-flowing water with no dams. This scenic trail is lined with bald cypress, river birches and other shade trees, and it offers the added benefit of camping. For those interested, sandbars are positioned along the trail for kayakers who want to take a break, unpack their picnic and enjoy the wilderness.

For those looking to paddle a short distance, Scatterman Paddling Trail might be just right. Paddlers go north up the Neches River into Pine Island Bayou and Cooks Lake Bayou before encountering a maze of bald cypress and tupelo trees around Scatterman Lake. Do you want to enjoy these trails, but don’t have a kayak of your own? There are plenty of rental options to choose from.

The Brazosport Area’s proximity to the coast and abundance of natural waterways makes this area overflow with kayaking sites. With a 3.8 mile-route and a 10.3 mile-route, Christmas Bay Paddling Trail has options for experienced and new paddlers. The shallow water makes it comfortable for standing and ideal for wildlife watching, fishing and wildlife photography in most areas.

Kayaking in Brazosport

Another option is the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, which welcomes incoming tides to combine life-giving nourishment from the Gulf with fresh waters to create one of the most biologically rich environments in Texas.

If wildlife observation is your reason for being on the water, Sea Rim State Park’s marsh unit gets paddlers eye-to-eye with wetland grasses and the birds and critters that live there. Rent a kayak or bring your own to explore three levels of paddling trails. Sea Rim’s five miles of natural beaches display Gulf of Mexico views from the West Dune Boardwalk. Fishing, crabbing, rinse off showers, equestrian trails, a cabin and campsites are other reasons to get on the water in Port Arthur.  

Launch your kayak into the Clear Creek Paddle Trail, which runs for 6.5 miles in League City. With three launching spots, there are plenty of opportunities to get in the water in Bay Area Houston. If you need to rent a kayak, you’re in luck! Pinky’s Kayak Rental or WaterSpots Clear Lake can help you find the perfect watercraft for your trip. And since Clear Lake is the boating capital of Texas and home to more than 9,000 yacht, sporting boats, sailboats and fishing vessels, you’re likely to find a reason to return.

The best way to enjoy the fishing piers, birding trails and other facilities at Baytown Nature Center is to board a kayak! But that’s not the only way to enjoy your time on the water. In Baytown, avid geocachers can board a kayak and paddle to caches hidden on the water and only accessible by kayak. Try to find them for yourself and learn more about geocaching here.